A video of a Christian church leader spanking his wife has gone viral on social media. Yes, even priests in pre-Christian Africa had standards to meet. When a friend sent me the video, it was in the middle of the raging CSE debate and calls by the Christian community to halt it claiming “it’s an affront to our culture”. The apparent helplessness and equally hypocritical nature that many have come to despise about the clergy is made evident by the split-screen of a church calling the government out over moral issues and a so-called “man of God” spanking his wife in public.
Many including my own father have maintained that the church should not be opportunistic in running to a culture they helped to destroy when they want to have their way in a moral debate.
Girls had to be virgins to get a passage into womanhood in Ghanaian culture. It was a bulwark against sexual misconduct and promiscuity and even though occasionally some girls broke the code, many more were eager to stay maiden.
What did the church do when these and other cultural practises were dropped in the name of Jesus even though there are no instances anywhere in the scriptures where God directs the church to get rid of cultural practices aimed at social cohesion.
How many girls got pregnant and needed abortion pre-Christianity in Africa and how many are getting pregnant now even in our churches?
Is the church really angry at CSE or the fact that we threw out the entire cultures of peoples all over the world and now that there’s a blowback of promiscuity and the rise of sexual sin, Christian leaders are masking their guilt as opposition to the LGBTQ community?
We (and by we I mean the church) have no moral right to tell anyone how to live anymore. The church itself has become a shadow of what it used to be.
Not long ago, Benny Hinn had to denounce his own theology that he has held on to for years because according to him the Holy Spirit is not happy. Something is obviously amiss and if we are to pinpoint where the problem is, I will not hesitate to say the problem is the fact that the church stopped being salt and light and became a brand new creator of human cultures—a responsibility we were never given in the first place.
There was bound to be blowback.
The Bible doesn’t teach that any group of people should lose their culture because they received Jesus. In fact, Jesus automatically highlights the good aspects of culture and throws out the bad. The essence of salt is to preserve what is good. Light flashes through the darkness of human ignorance and show what’s good and acceptable so that based on the standards set by God’s Word, we will determine which ones should be thrown out.
But what did we do in Africa (and the rest of the world)?
Everything was thrown out wherever Christianity went without recourse to the danger of taking away the cultural underpinnings of people. Today, we are in a cultural war that has unknown faces pushing all kinds of cultural agendas the world over because they think they know how everyone else must behave.
If I had to say, Satan probably played the biggest trick on the church by making us think that culture was not important. Now, he gets to rewire humans in a way that we are now fighting to go back to how societies were.
The church allowed itself to be used as a vehicle for modernity and political values instead of the one institution God tasked to save humanity. We don’t assume that by making people who walk barefoot get shoes we are making them better. People have to have their feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace before they even think of wearing shoes. We missed the point, let’s hope and pray that it’s not too late.